Sunday, December 27, 2009


This really isn't an RPG, but I have to rave about Pandemic. Chuck and I just picked up the board game and it's really fun despite providing an overly simplistic and generalized view of the world. The best part about it is that the game is set up to be cooperative, so players work together to win or lose.

Anyway, with Chuck being off until New Year's, Pandemic, Wii Lego Star Wars and Rock Band, I'll likely not be blogging much. So don't be surprised if you don't hear much from me this week.

Art of the Week: Evidence I

Evidence of My Existence I
5" x 15 1/2" x 3 1/2"
sewing drawer, collected objects, glass bottles

This piece was initially created a couple years ago, when the bottles of evidence were collected, but I recently revisited it and created a new means of display, including the hang tags and old sewing drawer.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Art of the Week: Cast Off

Yesterday I participated in Artica for the first time with Cast Off. This work featured a clothesline of trash and debris from the surrounding area to reflect on consumption, neglect and abandonment.

Cast Off
Weathered and worn,
floating on the wind,
tattered, forgotten, abandoned
testaments to human existence.
Always remember:
we learn about our history and ourselves
from our trash as well as our treasures...

Friday, December 18, 2009

WCA-STL Activism blog

The St. Louis Chapter of the Women's Caucus for Art has a new activism blog for members to focus on activism and their causes, from animal rights to clean rivers to humanitarianism & peace and more.

I am very excited about this development, since it reflects upon the group goals of activism and advocacy and since it provides a great forum for members to share their passions outside of art. I have myself posted several links to organizations that I strongly believe in and support.

"Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has."
- Margaret Mead

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

This Week

Wow, time has gotten away from me this week and I almost forgot to post what I'm up to. I am doing a couple big events this weekend, including an art market and an art festival. So please feel free to come - between everything going on there's something to appeal to almost everyone.

Affordable Art Show
Riverside Gallery
13 W. Moody, Webster Groves, MO
Dec. 18, 2009
7 - 10 PM
I will be vending some of my jewelry and have a few of my Point of View collages on display. All artworks included will be priced $60 or less, so it's a great opportunity for last-minute holiday shopping.

The North Riverfront
Lewis and O'Fallon streets, St. Louis, MO
Dec. 19, 2009
noon - midnight
Artica is an outdoor multidisciplinary art festival, including interactive & community art, music, performance, installation and more. This is my first year participating, and I'm looking forward to it and hope the weather holds out.

Show Some Respect

I know that I've talked on and on about acting professionally, but a situation that a close friend was in has reiterated the need to revisit this topic yet again.

If you are organizing a show:

- Be responsive, responsible and professional. Treat those with whom you are working with dignity and respect and keep the lines of communication open. Treat the artists as you would want to be treated yourself.

- Don't neglect to return someone's work for months after an event with no communication, explanation or good reason. You could get sued or have a police report filed against you for stealing or losing the artist's work.

- Don't neglect to inform the artists whose works you are representing or exhibiting of any changes that affect them, like new phone or email contacts, physically moving to a new location, new staff or contactpersons, show extensions, traveling exhibitions and other related circumstances. You could cause the artist to panic when he/she doesn't know what is going on, where his/her work is or how to contact you and, consequently could get sued or have a police report filed against you for stealing or losing the artist's work.

If you are participating in a show:

- Be courteous and follow directions. Read all of the instructions before asking questions. Abide by deadlines and requirements and don't expect exceptions to be made for you. Remember, you are only one of many artists responding, so don't act like you are the center of the universe or the only person with whom the gallery/curator has any contact. Abide by the same courtesy, respect and level of professionalism that you wish to be treated with.

- Try to work it out with the show organizer or gallery first. Don't badmouth, backstab or gossip about people for all that gossip can be hard to avoid at times. If the show organizer or gallery has genuinely ripped you off or treated you badly (be wary and aware, there are con artists and sleazebags out there who will take advantage), remain professional in warning others about the circumstance if you feel the need to do so.

Advice for both curators and artists alike:

- Don't threaten, berate or badmouth anyone. Behave in a professional and courteous manner. Don't use hostile or vulgar language or respond violently as this won't resolve anything. Essentially, if you wouldn't want someone to say it to you or to your own mother, then don't say it yourself.

- If someone has treated you unprofessionally, don't let them egg you on into stooping to their level. You don't want to perpetuate or be remembered for this. Continue to act responsibly and professionally.

- Don't make threats that you are not willing to follow through on. (Ideally, don't make threats at all - it can exacerbate the situation and will reflect upon yourself in all of your professional dealings.) For example, don't threaten to "call your lawyer" if you don't intend to actually do so - you may be called on it or may actually need to do so later.

It essentially comes back to the Golden Rule of treating others as you wish to be treated yourself and keeping in mind that your actions will reflect upon you professionally in all of your career, so don't knowingly do or say anything you'd be ashamed of or want to disassociate from later on.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

On Yearning for the Past

I recently attended an artist's talk in which the artist lamented what he perceived as a steady decline in the art world since the late 1800s with the modern art movement and the introspective nature of art today. However, I cannot say that I agree with these perspectives.

I don't long for the days of the patronage system, nor do I think that more people were able to connect with art of the past. A lot of art existed because of wealthy patrons, and nobility and the Church supported artists to create exactly what they wanted made. Those viewing art were either granted access to it by luxury or, in the case of the general population, were seeing things that essentially existed as propaganda to further promote cultural ideas and remind them of their roles in society.

Artists simply didn't have the freedom of expression or thought in the past that we do today, and many were not able to be introspective. New opportunities have evolved and doors opened, and so a more varied assortment of artists can explore these concepts. But modern and contemporary art isn't solely introspective. A lot of artists are able to explore a much more varied range of concepts and to offer artworks as a means of communication and social commentary. Artists are able to both connect with and disconnect from a more diverse group of people than ever; we have much more autonomy to decide how accessible we want our work to be.

I don't think that the general population only understands, desires and responds to Classical traditions in Western Art. I think it better to give the viewer/patron the benefit of the doubt and let him/her determine what is of value in his/her mind. Different people respond to different things. Collectors are collecting a diverse range of works and styles reflecting an array of movements. Some see this as nothing more than a trend. But does that mean that what is considered trendy is not of worth later on? Throughout history what is remembered depends a lot on the culture looking back on it and what of the past has been preserved, for good or bad. And it cannot be said that past cultures have always had a great appreciation for those before. A lot of changes and shifts in thinking have occurred throughout history. A lot of things went unrecorded or were only discovered in ruin in other peoples' trash heaps.

However, I do see it as a definite pity that true Classical training seems to be becoming more and more scarce nowadays. There are so many movements and ideas to cover nowadays and some of those teaching lack a strong background in formal Classical concepts, so a lot of students are simply not offered as strong of a sense of focus in Classical traditions, or in any particular discipline or methodology for that matter. This depends a lot on the educational institutions and what they value. But those students from any program will go on to become the next generation of teachers themselves, so if information is being lost along the way it will continue to do so as more and more generations of teachers lose more and more of it.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Art of the Week: More Necklaces

This week, I'm posting more jewelry. Here are some highlights from the new jewelry I made this week.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

This Week

This week marks the start of the second half of the Remastered show at Soulard Art Market. Several pieces from Remastered Part 1 will be changed out so it will be a new experience. My Claude Monsterpieces will still be on display along with some of my other work. Please feel free to come and check it out. I will be at the reception on Friday for all that I cannot make it Saturday.

Remastered Part 2
Soulard Art Market
2028 S. 12th St.. St. Louis
MO, Nov. - Dec. 2009
Friday, Dec. 11, 7 - 10 PM
Saturday, Dec. 12, 7 - 10 PM

Friday, December 4, 2009

Art of the Week: Mother Nature has deep pockets

This week, I'm posting a picture of a non-functional apron called Mother Nature has deep pockets. This piece incorporates collage, stitching and embellishment on dollhouse wallpaper and pastel paper. It fits into my fantasy nature environmental series, like Mother Nature's Party. It was made for the Young Women's Caucus for Art traveling show.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It's Okay, I'm an Artist

I'm actually posting something today having been inspired to rant about a pet peeve of mine. I was purchasing some photographs at a boutique and yet again heard, "it's okay, I'm an artist." Every time I hear this phrase it rubs me the wrong way, and I've heard it from all kinds of people including my own art professors. It has been used to justify difficulties with math and spelling, general flakiness, lack of memory, illogical, erratic or emotional behavior, and more.

Why does it matter? Well, simply put, it feeds into preconceived ideas of what we, as artists, are. I don't like other similar excuses either, like "it's okay, I'm a woman." My being a woman doesn't automatically make me emotional or maternal or a good listener. (I'll admit that sometimes I may be emotional, but I don't tend to be maternal, and whether or not I'm a good listener has more to do with my state of mind at the time than with my being female.)

Saying "it's okay, I'm an artist" can reinforce notions that all artists can't spell or do math or hold a train of thought, and that simply isn't true (take Leonardo da Vinci for example). For all that each of us may not see the harm in those generalizations that do apply to ourselves individually, we are more likely to take offense to those that don't. But we're all different - we artists are a very diverse group and many of us prefer to embrace that diversity rather than imposing limitations on ourselves and others.

This holds true outside of art as well. Essentially why should we want to feed into stereotypes by using them to justify our own shortcomings? What if we were to take responsibility for ourselves, or at least not assume that our behaviors & tendencies automatically extend to others? Sometimes it's easy to slip up and place blame or seek camaraderie by making assumptions, but I make every effort not to do this and to try to be more responsible for myself. It all comes down to this: I don't like to be generalized, so I try hard not to generalize myself and/or others.